09 August 2007

Cool things with words

Writers do all sorts of cool things with words. Who could forget Ondaatje's "penis sleeping like a sea-horse" in The English Patient (page 1, iirc)? Who could forget Thomas's famous villanelle (I would quote the final line "Rage, rage...", but to do so may well breach copyright)? Writers turn words into spectacular images, into characters that live on in our imaginations long after the book is closed. We craft words so that they run smoothly in sentences, so they rouse emotions in the reader. We work at rhythm and use tools like assonance and consonance and onomatopoiea. (The first time I said something about that at home, my husband told me I'd made that word up. I assured him I had not.) We use connotation as well as denotation and loll around, enjoying similes and metaphors.

Writers sometimes do other things with words. Or at least letters. Unexpected things. One of them -- my friend, Andy -- has just had his artwork (typewriter art) listed on Boing Boing. How cool is that! Here's the link or, even better, go directly to his blog (one of his many -- Andy is the king of bloggers) and scroll through more. You'll find his blog here . Quite amazing stuff really. Enjoy!

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